Zibanejad scores pair to lead Rangers over Flyers
Sean Couturier scored for Philadelphia, which dropped its second straight after winning five in a row.
“I thought our guys had to play a certain way and we did,” Rangers coach Peter Laviolette said.
Laviolette tied Dick Irvin for 10th-most career games coached with his 1,448th contest. Laviolette was the head coach for the Flyers in 272 games between 2009-14.
“Every day I think about how fortunate I am to coach in this league,” he said. “Always an honor when something like that pops up. I'm blessed.”
New York jumped on the Flyers early, scoring twice in the opening 1 minute, 53 seconds to take command.
Zibanejad netted the first of his two tallies 45 seconds into the game when he shot high over Carter Hart to finish a 2-on-1 with Wheeler. Just 22 seconds later, Kreider took advantage of a turnover by Philadelphia defenseman Travis Sanheim and shot past Hart for his team-leading 11th goal of the season. Sanheim was trying to pass to a teammate after the Flyers won a defensive zone faceoff, but his errant try went right to the stick of Kreider all alone in front of the net.
“That’s a play I make regularly," Sanheim said. "He just makes a good read. Maybe a little more awareness it’s him there.”
The Rangers went ahead 3-0 7:41 into the second period when Zibanejad finished another 2-on-1, this time poking the puck over Hart’s right shoulder after another setup from Wheeler.
“We fought, just too many odd-man rushes,” Flyers coach John Tortorella said. “We weren't crisp.”
Philadelphia got on the board with 2:21 left in the second when Couturier deflected home Nick Seeler’s shot from the point.
It looked as if Kreider had padded the Rangers' lead to three goals when he beat Hart with a backhander after a pass from Zibanejad with 6 1/2 minutes to play, but the goal was overturned after video review showed Kreider was offside when receiving the pass.
Hart had 16 saves.
Rangers: Host Boston on Saturday afternoon.
Flyers: At New York Islanders on Saturday night.
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